There are no less than 200-300 Thai dishes. Each has its own characteristics in flavor and feature.
It is not difficult to cook in the pre-historic era. Humans began their eating with raw trees: flowers, leaves, roots and bulbs. After having tasted the vagetables’bland flavor, they added some sour ones to make tastier, or mixed variety of vegetables. Later, they knew how to make simple cooking, for example, burning vegetables or putting rice into roasted bamboo (which was called “kaawlaam” or a glutinous rice with coconut cream topping stuffed in a bamboo section and roasted). As the time passed by, they knew how to cook in various ways: frying, making soup or curry, steaming, making yam (salad) and preserving.
Food cooking is both science and art. Some foods need time, man power and delicacy in cooking, including an artistic decoration. Cooperation in cooking helps create unity and warmth among family members.
The process of Thai cuisine explains Thai life: its tradition, custom and culture as well as confirms that Thai family is a big one in which its members live together with warm relationship. In cooking Thai food, family members have their share of helping, as a teamwork. Either the grown ups or the young ones, males or females, can participate. In some old families, the elders knew how to manage the young off springs giving their hands in cooking. Small kids could help with light works, e.g., nipping off miniature egg plants, or sweet basils from the stem; whereas the bigger ones could peel onions, garlics, pluck off vegetables, squeeze coconut meat, and pound chillies and spices, for example.
Accordingly, it is clearly seen that food cooking creates closeness among family members in talking and chatting to one another. Young kids knew how to help, and to cook as well as to be trained to have responsibility and discipline in working. The whole family, then, has a warm relationship and in turn produces worthy people for society in general.
Thai food always has its meaningful names which indicate its features or methods of cooking. Khanom Pui Fai is light, soft and yellowish white like cotton wool. Mi Krop (Crispy noodles) must be crispy. In the old days, most Thai people usually had a sense of humour and they often named foods, poetically, to stimulate the appetite. Among those foods are Jorka Lonson (Black bean in coconut milk), Naree Jaamseen (Banana in coconut milk) Ho Mujcha Chailai (Steamed curried fish), Paad Paakdong Fong Raga (Pickled vegetable fried with egg)
The Flavor of Thai food:
Regional Dishes :
The North: The food of the North has its light flavor, with a little spices, not very hot with chillies, not salty and without sugar, except in Phak Jo, Kaeng Kae, Kaeng Oom Moo, Sai Uaa, etc.
The North-East:The North-Eastern food has a strong flavor with chillies, salt, herbs and spices. Examples are Lap Pradook, Som Tom, Oomsab Tomsab, etc.
The Centre:The Central food has a moderate flavor with herbs and sugar. Kaeng Khieo Wan, Kaeng Som, Tom Yam, Tom Khaa Kai, Phanaeng, Choochee, are examples.
The South:The South has a very strong flavor of food with spicy herbs. Examples are fried or grilled tumeric-powdered fish, Kaeng Lyan, Tom Som, Pla Krabok and Kaeng Taipla.